Skip to main content

Military Health System

Flu Vaccination Rates are Running High Across the Military This Year

Image of a woman giving someone an injection on the arm. Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kindal Kidd, from Neodesha, Kansas, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN 78) medical department, administers a flu shot to a sailor in the ship's hangar bay. Ford's medical department is vaccinating the entire crew against the flu virus to ensure the crew remains medically ready as the ship prepares to go out to sea. (Photo: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski)

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

Flu vaccination rates among service members are running far higher this year compared to the same period during previous years.

Its a positive sign that military health officials say could reduce the amount of illness impacting individuals and limit the strain on local hospitals and clinics that are already very busy due to the ongoing pandemic.

So far, about 64% of active-duty service members have received a flu shot. At this same time last year, the rate was 44 percent and in 2019 the rate was 52%, health officials said on Nov. 29.

"Immunization activities throughout the Military Health System are doing a great job this season getting influenza vaccine in the arms of service members, but we aren't quite to the finish line yet," says Army Lt. Col. Christopher Ellison, a doctor of pharmacy, the Defense Health Agency's operations director for the Immunization Healthcare Division; and the military lead for the Department of Defense's Influenza Vaccination Program. "We still have some service members who need to get vaccinated in order to reach the Defense Department's force-wide goal of 90% vaccinations by Jan. 15."

Several factors may be influencing the relatively high rates of flu vaccination to date.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have increased awareness about the importance of the flu vaccine, prompting some service members to get their shots early in the season. (Individuals can get their flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot on the same visit to a hospital or clinic).

The pace of flu vaccinations is also higher because the vaccines, which the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) distributes to all military hospitals and clinics, arrived earlier than in previous seasons.

In 2020, large supplies of flu vaccines did not begin arriving at military health facilities until September, and it was not until December that a vast majority of the vaccines were distributed.

This year, supplies began going out in August, and more than 90% were shipped and ready for patients by October, when the flu season usually begins. (Typically, the flu season runs October-May and peaks between December-February.)

"Our military hospitals and clinics are fantastic at mobilizing flu drives when they have vaccine on hand, and DLA did an outstanding job of getting vaccine out to the military hospitals and clinics this year," Ellison said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine. But people 65 and older or with underlying conditions, pregnant women, infants, and young children are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. It's particularly important for those populations to get their shot.

All military members are required to get an annual flu shot. Check with TRICARE for locations and dates where flu vaccines may be available for service members. For all Military Health System beneficiaries, shots are available at military medical treatment facilities (MTFs) and at military installations.

All military health system beneficiaries can use an online portal to schedule a flu shot or a COVID-19 booster shot. The portal, known as the Defense Health Agency Appointing Portal, or DAP, began supporting the vaccine efforts on Oct. 11.

More information on the flu vaccine is available here.

You also may be interested in...

Guideline for Tuberculosis Screening and Testing

Policy

Because accessions come from widely diverse geographic backgrounds, the Services should determine the need for tuberculin skin tests for accessions while Service members are at the training base, based on the needs of the specific accessions environment and operational mission requirements. DoD will implement targeted testing rather than universal testing where possible, based on Service-specific mission requirements, for recruits and new accessions, HCWs, recent deployers, and Service members who are retiring.

  • Identification #: 00-memo-2012-04-20
  • Date: 4/20/2012
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Immunizations

Routine Smallpox and Anthrax Immunizations Policies

Report
12/15/2010

Defense Health Board: Routine Smallpox and Anthrax Immunizations Policies

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare Division | Immunizations | Health Readiness Support

Inclusion of the Measles Mumps and Rubella Vaccine

Report
12/11/2010

Defense Health Board: Inclusion of the Measles Mumps and Rubella Vaccine

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division

Accomplishments and Critical Lessons Learned Regarding Department of Defense H1N1 Influenza Report

Presentation
11/2/2010

Accomplishments and Critical Lessons Learned Regarding Department of Defense H1N1 Influenza Report briefing presented to the Defense Health Board Nov. 2, 2010

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division

Measles Mumps Rubella and Smallpox Anthrax Vaccine Recommendations

Presentation
8/18/2010

Measles Mumps Rubella and Smallpox Anthrax Vaccine Recommendations briefing presented to the Defense Health Board Aug. 18, 2010

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division

Inclusion of Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccine in Navy Accessions Screening and Immunizations Program

Presentation
6/8/2010

Inclusion of Measles Mumps Rubella Vaccine in Navy Accessions Screening and Immunizations Program briefing presented to the Defense Health Board June 8, 2010

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division

Joint Preventive Medicine Policy Group Response to the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response

Presentation
3/1/2010

Joint Preventive Medicine Policy Group Response to the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response briefing presented to the Defense Health Board March 1, 2010

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division

Review of Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Subpanel Recommendations

Presentation
8/17/2009

Review of Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Subpanel Recommendations presented to the Defense Health Board Aug. 17, 2009

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare Division | Immunizations

Transfer Storage and Oversight of the Warren AFB Cohort Serum Repository and Data Assets

Report
7/8/2009

Defense Health Board: Transfer Storage and Oversight of the Warren AFB Cohort Serum Repository and Data Assets

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division

Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness Recommendation Memo

Report
6/4/2009

Defense Health Board: Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness Recommendation Memo

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division | Research and Innovation

Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness Report

Presentation
5/7/2009

Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness Report presented to the Defense Health Board May 7, 2009

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division

Department of Defense Guidance Regarding Thimerosal Containing Vaccines

Policy

This memo provides guidance regarding the use of vaccines containing Thimerosal.

Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness Workgroup Update

Presentation
9/4/2008

Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness Workgroup Update presented to the Defense Health Board Sept. 4, 2008

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division

Off Label Vaccine Use and Vaccination of Military Recruits During Summer Months

Report
5/5/2008

Defense Health Board: Off Label Vaccine Use and Vaccination of Military Recruits During Summer Months

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare Division | Immunizations

Military Vaccine Program Update Vaccine Healthcare Centers

Presentation
4/24/2008

Military Vaccine Program Update Vaccine Healthcare Centers presented to the Defense Health Board April 24, 2008

Recommended Content:

Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare Division
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 
Showing results 121 - 135 Page 9 of 10
Refine your search
Last Updated: February 24, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery